Child support is frequently awarded by courts in divorce cases where children are involved in order to provide financial stability for the spouse with primary custody. At the outset, it is normally assumed that these payments will be made in-full and on-time. However, this is not always how things proceed; sometimes the other parent is unable to make the payments or they refuse to pay at all. This can create major financial hardship for the spouse with child custody, and is not looked on kindly by the courts who have a number of tools to ensure the money is paid properly.
Collection of Overdue or Delinquent Support
The Family Support Division of the Missouri Department of Social Services is the agency who is responsible for enforcing child support payments. When they are sent to enforce a child support order by the court, they can do any of the following in order to collect on the missing child support:
- Garnish your income, including your wages, salaries, bonuses, workers compensation benefits and more
- Intercept tax returns and apply them to missing support payments
- Report missing payments to credit bureaus, damaging credit scores
- Suspend the paying parent’s driver’s license until payment is made
- File a lien against the paying parent’s home or property, preventing its sale until payment is made
- File a “contempt” against the paying parent, requiring them to appear in court and explain the reason behind the missed payment, which may result in jail time
- In extreme cases, file for criminal prosecution
Modify, Don’t Fail to Pay
Simply not paying your required child support can have devastating consequences and is not advised under any circumstances. But what if you can’t make the payments required due to financial hardship of your own?
If you are currently required by court order to pay a child support amount that you believe is unfair, the state does have provisions whereby you can petition for a modification of your child support order. If you can prove to the court that the initial order was unfair, the court will accept your petition and modify your order, thus allowing you to pay a more reasonable amount and give you some form of financial relief. It is strongly advised that you secure the services of a reputable St. Louis family attorney in order to properly file this petition, as any errors can result in your case being thrown out.
When you are having trouble with child support, turn to the skilled and reputable legal advocates at the Kallen Law Firm for assistance. Our legal team has received a Superb rating from Avvo, standing as a testament to our dedication to our clients and our legal ability both in and out of the courtroom. We understand the significant impact any family law case can have on your life, and we work hard to protect the best interests of our clients and their families.
Call the Kallen Law Firm today at 314.441.7793 and schedule your free consultation for all of your child support and enforcement needs.